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Author Topic: Interesting Opinion Page on France  (Read 7081 times)

...has left the building.

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Interesting Opinion Page on France
« on: November 08, 2005, 08:24:48 AM »,2933,174792,00.html

Reporter's Notebook: The Fire Next Door
By Greg Palkot

Regular FOX viewers know my bosses often send me to some pretty rough neighborhooods & Iraq, Afghanistan, the Mideast. But I never thought one of those rough neighborhoods would be my own.

For the past five days Ive been chasing thugs and fires in the Paris region (the French capital is my home base) as rioting by angry youths threatens to rock the French government.

Last Wednesday night as we drove around the outskirts of Paris, a half hour from home, it looked like nothing short of Baghdad  burning cars and trucks littering the sides of the road. Lines of riot police ready to do
battle with insurgents ... I mean angry French mobs

The next few nights we got our noses filled with noxious fumes as the rioters shifted targets and started torching warehouses.

Then in broad daylight, as I was doing a live shot in the town of Bobigny, five miles from Paris, a courthouse 200 yards away went up in smoke. I havent had that kind of real time illustration of badness since a car bomb blew up during a live shot in Baghdad, forcing me to do an on-air gulp seen round the world.

No fewer than three French newspapers have quoted my analogy of the problems now plaguing France with ANOTHER American problem from a few months back. In one live shot I dubbed the Paris riots the Katrina of social disasters. And I dont think I was that far off.

French authorities (read that, FEMA) had a whole lot of advance warning of what was going to happen. Over the past 30 years a huge immigrant and descendant population of Muslims and Africans has been building in this country. France promises them equal opportunities, then dumps them in ghettos outside their glossy city centers. It offers them little chance
for jobs or much-heralded integration. The French suburbs have been ticking time bombs for years. Is it a surprise that they are exploding now?

Then, French authorities were remarkably slow in realizing they had a national catastrophe on their hands. It took until Day 11 for President Jacques Chirac to step foot outside the Elysee Palace and say law and order must be restored. Even President Bush got down to New
Orleans five days after Katrina hit.

Not to speak of the damage done by this criminal hurricane"  $10 million dollars and counting  and the lesson in what the country is all about. Just as Katrina helped some folks in the States realize that New Orleans was more than Mardi Gras and a good time, the current round of riots is reminding France that theres more to their country than 35-hour work weeks, great food and wine, and high style. Theyve also got a big, ugly, broiling underclass that is festering and ready to engulf them.

Of course, this IS France, so it's all about politics and passing the blame rather than solving the problem.

On one side you have the French Rudolph Giuliani, Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy. He is the designated fall guy in all of this. Sure, he said some dumb things about the rioters (they were scum that needed to be cleaned up is one translation), but his zero-tolerance approach to crime is not a bad idea. The folks in the housing projects are the victims of the rioters as much as anyone else. At the same time, he is trying to offer young people in the ghettos more opportunities, the older people more voting rights, and even money to build more mosques!

On the other side you have the prime example of why France is in the mess it is: French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin (who is Sarkozys rival for Chiracs job in 2007). First he tried to let Sarkozy twist in the wind for a few days. When people started to suggest that perhaps the prime minister should do something, he called for dialogue (always helpful when your neighborhood is going up in flames), and, of course, a grand master plan to do everything for the 5 million Muslims in France and others that theyd forgotten to do for the last three decades.

Which leads me to the other hot button question in all of this: Is this the beginning of the war of the worlds in Europe? The clash of Christian and Muslim civilizations? Ummmm & No, and maybe not necessarily no.

The rioters are more motivated by joblessness, crummy schools and heavy-handed police tactics than messages from Usama bin Laden in a cave on the Pakistan border. But the rioters are predominantly Muslim. They come from ghettos that are breeding grounds for jihadis ready to do battle in Iraq, Afghanistan and closer to home.

If they take their cues from anyone, it's from Muslim youth leaders to whom the French government is turning. And just to heighten the religious tone to this whole thing, the umbrella Muslim body in France has just issued a Fatwa (luckily) AGAINST the violence.

Thats why this whole thing is more serious than France fixing up a few dozen community centers with table soccer equipment.

I got knocked on the air one day by a reporter from the French nespaper Le Monde for comparing the situtation to Baghdad, but then police discovered a molotov cocktail-making factory south of Paris. They also started to admit that there is at least some coordination and organization among the rioters. Maybe now just from older punks or criminals, but the Islamists could
at least be waiting in the wings. All of a sudden it doesnt quite seem like this is all the work of a bunch of dead-enders.

Of course, the piece de resistance (as we say here in France) was when the trouble outside Paris hit Paris itself. This weekend some 30 cars were torched and some nearby buildings were damaged in the French capital. This is the beginning of the nightmare scenario French officials were fearing. It's one thing to burn a run-down Renault in the parking lot of a housing project. It's
another thing to start tarnishing the crown jewel. Then all of those banner headlines about Paris burning might actually turn out to be true.

Two final observations:

The relatively thin coverage by the French media of the riots  one of Frances equivalents to Time Magazine devoted only four pages to the troubles Monday. Time itself devoted six! Compare that to the wall-to-wall (concealed glee) coverage of Katrina, and it makes you wonder. Does France really want to come to terms with all of this?

And & hey, my stays in France were supposed to be filled with relatively less taxing assignments than I get in places like Baghdad and Kabul. Dont you just hate it when THEYre fighting THERE and theyre fighting HERE, as well?

Cest la vie.

Art Eatman

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Interesting Opinion Page on France
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2005, 12:33:27 PM »

I can think of dozens of similar situations around the world over the last forty or so years.  Folks would talk about the problems; the governments would ignore them but for placebos, and when there was some sort of eruption or revolutionary movement, the newsies and the Bosses would all go to yowling, "But, why?" and, "How could this happen?"

The American Indians learned what happens when you don't control immigration.


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Interesting Opinion Page on France
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2005, 06:50:00 PM »

Probably totally predictable - even more so with hindsight.  Major worry could be tho that of scale - as this sorta deal... like a brush fire - gathers momentum.

There are lessons to be learned but - so late in the day - there will be way more trouble ahead before anything like a resolution.
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Headless Thompson Gunner

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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2005, 08:33:36 PM »

What I wanna know is: when is the French government going to DO something about these riots?  There's been nothing but talk so far.

Putting down riots is always ugly.  But it's gotta be done sometime.  

Maybe the Iraqi police should send some advisors...  Tongue

Glock Glockler

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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2005, 04:32:52 AM »

Over the past 30 years a huge immigrant and descendant population of Muslims and Africans has been building in this country

Why didnt France have these problems with the Poles they brought over earlier for cheap labor?  It just goes to show that the multicultural fantasy that one is strengthened by having diverse peoples is bunk.  Successful immigration is dependant on the host country's ability to assimilate the immigrants as well as the immigrant's ability to adapt to their new society.  When people's are too culturally dissimilar this process does not happen very well.  

France promises them equal opportunities, then dumps them in ghettos outside their glossy city centers. It offers them little chance for jobs or much-heralded integration

Ohhh, so it's France's responsibility to make everything peechy keen?  No, it's is the responsibility of the immigrant to make things better for himself, what are they doing to endear themselves to French society?  What are they doing to find themselves better housing if they don't like where they are?  This story might be familiar to many of you whose family came to the US under similar circumstances but my grandparents came to the US after WWII speaking no English with only a few suitcases of clothes.  They linked up with other Poles and found their own housing till they built a house of their own, they worked extra hard to make up for the fact that Americans would generally be less likely to hire them as opposed to another American, and they busted their asses to loose their accents as much as possible so that Americans would more readily accept them.  

If the Arabs had this attitude there would not be the current problem in France, they blame European civilization for passing them by and France has coddeling them.


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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2005, 06:51:09 AM »

France's problems may be America's also...  Cal Thomas ( makes this very clear.


For release 11/09/2005


By Cal Thomas

Tribune Media Services

Observing the riots in the suburbs of Paris, an American is tempted to rejoice. Are not the French getting their just desserts for their arrogance, opposition and condescension toward the United States and for their observation that the predominantly poor victims of Hurricane Katrina revealed an ugly underside of America that they happily condemned?

Unfortunately, laughing at the French dilemma is a luxury we can only briefly afford, because what is happening in France among many of their Muslim immigrants is the immediate future for all of Europe and a probable future for the United States, if the West does not immediately and effectively confront this spreading threat.

France thought it could import millions of people who do not share its tolerant and laissez-faire philosophy and not pay a price. The Muslim population in France is now estimated at about 5 million (compared to a total French population of about 60 million).

This is only an estimate, because French law forbids census questions related to one's religion. It is believed that there could be as many as 8 million Muslims in France. This compares to estimates between 12 to 20 million in all of the European Union.

High fertility rates among France's Muslim population, coupled with low fertility rates among the native-born French (the government is offering cash incentives to middle-class French women to have more babies), and increasing Muslim immigration from North Africa, contribute to the undermining of French culture and social and political stability.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in France for years, as incidents ranging from graffiti to violence against Jews become almost daily occurrences.

France is experiencing what other Western nations are, or will soon, experience: millions of Muslim youth who identify with the larger and borderless "Muslim World" and less, or not at all, with their host countries. Mosques erected in these countries are growing as rapidly as Starbucks or McDonald's franchises. The same is true in the United States. According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research's recent Faith Communities Today study, the total number of mosques in the United States increased 42 percent between 1990 and 2, second only to the growth of Christian "mega churches." Many of these mosques are built with the help of Saudi Arabia, which adheres to the Wahhabi sect of Islam, the religion's most puritanical and violent wing. In some cases, the mosques are connected to schools that teach separation from American values and hatred of Jews and Christians.

France will be America's future, if we don't stop denying that this invasion is deliberate and purposeful. If we don't end the proliferation of radical Muslims, it would not be out of the question to predict a terrorist plot to blow up American cities, if the U.S. government fails to bow to fanatical demands to abandon Israel. What would the government do if weapons of mass destruction were placed in our cities and it was announced that unless Washington met their demands, millions of Americans would be annihilated? Before you start accusing me of bigotry, on what basis - other than your wishful thinking and refusal to confront this threat - do you base your position?

This is not going to be pleasant for countries and cultures that have believed in the "melting pot," but radical surgery on a growing cancer is what is needed when early warning signs have been ignored. France must deport the most dangerous and violent radicals whose goal is to turn the country into an Islamic state dominated by Sharia law. The message should be: if you engage in or promote violence, you're gone from the country.

In the United States, a concerted effort is being made to convert more of us to Islam, especially in prisons. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, in September 2003, some 5.5 percent of the federal inmate population (172,785 on Oct. 6, 2003) were some form of Muslim. Why shouldn't we fight back by reaching out to them with our religious and political doctrines? I know Muslims who have been converted and now live peaceful and productive lives among us. We shouldn't passively allow them to proceed with their conversion agenda with no response. Let's peacefully and lovingly share our far better religious and cultural message with them.

France has reached its limit. It must not allow more immigrants of the type who are rioting in the country and it must deport the troublemakers within its borders. There is no other way. Have the French learned their lesson? Will the United States learn from France?
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2005, 08:57:58 AM »

I like Joseph Farah's solution better:

OK, enough is enough.

It's clear France is no longer in control of its population.

It's clear millions within its borders are struggling for freedom and independence.

It's clear that these people are not rioting for the sake of rioting, they are responding to oppression from French authorities.

It's clear that their uprising cannot be met with state violence, because that would only lead to a cycle of violence.

It's clear that these freedom-fighters  whom I have dubbed "Paristinians"  want a state of their own.

It's clear that the international community must force France to the negotiating table with these freedom fighters to begin the peace process that will inevitably lead to the creation of an autonomous, independent state of "Paristine."
It goes on after that in that same direction. I thought it was good because I have not heard this type of idea mentioned anywhere else as either satire or serious.

Does any image illustrate so neatly the wrongheadedness of the Obama administration than Americans scrambling in terror from Air Force One?
Just great…Chicago politics has spread to all 57 states.
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